'The Kitchen' [Blu-ray + Digital]
(Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss, Domhnall Gleeson, James Badge Dale, et al / Blu-ray + Digital / R / 2019 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: Between 8th Ave. and the Hudson River, the Irish mafia runs 20 blocks of a tough New York City neighborhood known as Hell's Kitchen. But for mob wives Kathy (Melissa McCarthy), Ruby (Tiffany Haddish) and Claire (Elizabeth Moss), things are about to take a dramatic and radical turn.
When the FBI sends their husbands to prison, the three women take business into their own hands by running the rackets and taking out the competition.
Blu-ray Verdict: Crime tales are ones the American public drinks up, with the promise of a dark tale with tons of drama to drink up.
Yet, not every tale has the makings of a legendary film like the Godfather, trying too hard or going too political that it becomes a giant statement that is not entertaining to many.
So 'The Kitchen' had me concerned that a political thriller was on our way and potentially a slow-moving film like Widows before it.
Can an all-star cast and the mistakes from the last attempt be learned, or are we going to be stuck with a carbon copy cinematic mess?
Well, for a movie set in a specific time and place, 'The Kitchen' most definitely accomplishes the task of stepping back into the past.
Costumes, editing of footage, and props once more teleports us to the America of the past and brings you into the harsh streets of the Kitchen and it's denizens.
While the setting helps add a story telling element, the reality is the Kitchen has a decent story component to it. Like the Godfather, but not as monumental, 'The Kitchen' is a story of family, power, and threats as the various pieces move about in the fight for territory and respect.
A character centric story, the movie focuses much on the three primary characters, each going through their own struggles as they try to push their own agendas into the mix.
It's those dramatic, character developing arcs that seem to crisscross quite nicely, leading to subplots that actually do well to connect into the grander story line, and brings a few twists to the mix to jazz up the linear plot and help give that dynamic of the mafia family.
It works well, and the acting in particular manages to bring the characters to full life, each bringing a unique style to the character that helps add the personality a film like this needs.
McCarthy was my favorite, but Haddish was amazing, casting her sass in a new light that was less funny and more threatening. Without these ladies bringing their "A game" the movie may have suffered a lot more.
Of note, the sound track was probably my favorite thing, classic '60s-'70s songs coming in hard to give the emotional flare and toe tapping mixes that I love to see in a film, after all who does not like a good Fleetwood Mac song?
Yet, the movie still suffers a bit from some other components that did not quite entertain me.
First off, the movie suffers from linearity and predictable components. From the moment the tides change you can see the ending coming a mile way, the Shakespearian plot elements beginning to fall into place.
As such, waiting for the ending was a little boring, stuck in the artistic and political components that it was a little slow and drawn out for me. It felt much longer than the actual run time and I did not quite get into the film as much as I wanted too.
Perhaps a few shoot outs, a job gone wrong, or even some sort of defense to get the plot moving. Instead, the political moments of the tale comes breaking right in to take center stage.
'The Kitchen' is not the most preach from soap box delivery I have seen, but the focus on the various battle of sexes and girl power motif could have been curbed a little more to not deviate from the story components I enjoyed.
In addition, the movie suffers from the non-centered antagonist, choosing to go more towards a symbolic route, that possessed various characters that were more of a throw away than meaningful inclusion.
Had there been a bad guy to ultimately focus on, we might have had an easier time keeping things moving.
In closing, 'The Kitchen' is a indeed a rather good portrayal of being able to dive back into history and uncovering stories that are believable, dramatic, and the crime family aspect we love.
The three leading ladies are truly the stars that made it special with me alongside character centric stories that will appeal to those who like books or character focused shows.
Yet, the movie is still not quite the spectacle I was hoping for, getting caught in the symbiology and politics that lead to rush plot elements and lacking suspense. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
'The Kitchen' Blu-ray contains the following special features:
• Running Hell’s Kitchen
• Taking Over the Neighborhood
• Deleted Scene
'The Kitchen' DVD contains the following special feature:
• Running Hell’s Kitchen
On October 22nd, 2019, 'The Kitchen' will be available to own in high definition and standard definition from select digital retailers including Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, Xbox and others.
On November 5th, 2019, 'The Kitchen' will be made available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles, and via both Blu-ray and DVD.
Official 'The Kitchen' Facebook Page